In the last post where I blathered on about my food and exercise, I think I kind of made it seem like the skies opened and everything is calm, cool and happy and I am just going about my life. Truth be told, things aren’t as hunky dory as they seem.

Man, am I a wreck.  As I mentioned in that last post, I’ve been dealing with all sorts of bodily dysfunction due to overrestriction and overachieving with my training. You may or may not have heard stories about people that dive into extreme restrictive behavior for the sake of competing for something, crash out post-contest and blow their metabolism out of the water and cant do fuckall for, like, the next year? Yeah thats me right now. Over the last few months, I’ve said “fuck it” with strict eating principles and that has helped with some of the issues I was dealing with, but I still have a bit of a road ahead of me. And this road has been rather hellish.

This is what is currently going on with me, and honestly, its been going on for a while.

Incessant Brain Fog and Cognitive Dysfunction. You know when you just wake up and you’re kind of in that foggy, dreamlike state for a bit? I never leave that. It is with me 24/7.  Included with this is the inability to comprehend a lot of things that I would be able to normally, and I have to really, really focus to be able to conduct an intelligent conversation. I have to ask folks at work to back up and explain things more thoroughly, which is rather embarrassing, because I feel stupid. My short term memory is completely shot and I have to write everything down, otherwise I’ll forget. It took me half an hour to assemble this paragraph. It is embarrassing and frustrating. I am sure this whole post makes me sound absolutely stupid.

Anxiety and Stress. Because of the huge stresses I’ve put on my bod over the years, my body is now in this heightened state of alarm and EVERYTHING IS OVERWHELMING. Mind you, it has decreased SIGNIFICANTLY over the past few months since I’ve been tackling this whole whole thing head on, but I’m not out of the woods yet.  There was a point where finding the mental fortitude to get off the couch to get ready for work would put me in tears.  Busy days where there’s a lot of shit to be done absolutely kill me. How many of you have seen me in a public social situation in the past year or so? This is why.

Weight Gain Like Whoa. I am at the absolute worst I’ve ever been in 10 years. This also feeds into the anxiety and stress.

Sleep Disturbances. This is probably the most hellish.  I have not been able to get a solid night’s sleep in a long time and right now I’m lucky to get about 5 hours of sleep a night.  About 2-4 am, I wake up and cannot get back to sleep. Much like this morning. I would write all about cortisol and why this is happening to me, but right now I lack the mental capacity to do so. You can google it if you so choose.

Add these things to the trials of every day life, and to say things have been difficult is an understatement. I am currently getting support with all this shit, and guidance from some very smart and knowledgeable friends. What also sucks is that there’s no real time period for recovery – it could be a couple of months, it could be over a year. I dont really know.

Things I have been doing:

Eating. Making sure I get my food in. Another side effect of all this shit is that I am just not hungry, which can lead to me undereating and prolonging this hell.

Stopping the Lifting. This has been the hardest thing for me. But at this point, any exercise that my body perceives as strenuous puts me back at square one and I just perpetuate the cycle. Because of the state my body is in, the threshold of what is perceived as ‘strenuous’ is really, really low. Biking also has the same effect. I have been able to take walks and that’s about it. I had so many fun plans for the summer that I’ve had to scrap in the name of regaining my health, and it’s depressing.

Mental Readjustment. This has been incredibly mind altering and I’ve had to do a lot of soul searching. Dealing with this shit is hard. I havent been blogging, or interacting on Facebook, or being social because of this, and those things are probably something I need to do to help improve my mental state. But I cant because I’m too overwhelmed with everything else.

My Silver Linings:

Shit isn’t as horrible today was it was a month ago.  My energy levels are slowly but surely improving. Some days are really good, on other days I feel like I’ve been set back a thousand steps. But I’m getting there.

Dennis has been loving, supportive, and understanding, even when everything doesn’t make any sense at all.  He helped me off the couch in the days when I couldn’t do it myself. He’s endured my crying jags, my snapping when things get to be too much, taking over when I can’t, and a whole lot of other stuff.

This, too, shall pass. This was a phrase my Granny always said, and always sticks with me. Every time the song by OK Go comes up I think that if she were alive today, she’d totally rock out to it. Some days I do feel like where I am right now is how I am going to be for the rest of my life, and that freaks me out. This is pretty hellish.

I am still a badass. Its just the degree of badassery I can exhibit right now has to be scaled back significantly. All I want to do is go back to when I was enjoying life, taking advantage of the outdoors, and kicking back with a cheeseburger and beer with no ill effects. Such a simple request, and yet, so infinitely hard for me to do right now.

Hunker down, kids, we’re in for some rough seas.


  • Laura

    ((*hugs*)) If you ever need anyone to just come over, hang out and talk I’m here. All I’m doing these days is renovating the bathroom, so it would be nice to say that I’m not spending ALL of my free time in the bathroom. ;-D

    • batty

      we need to do that. hell, i’ll come over and we can Shit Talk ;)

  • Debra Niedermiller Chaffins

    I’m still here for remote emotional support and belief in you. Always, always, always.

    • batty

      you are, as always, one of my Friends Without Fail. love you too. :)

  • SephSki

    Sending much love and support! I’ve noticed your absence and missed you. I figured it was just job and life stuff keeping you busy. Sorry to hear it’s more complicated than that. I hope you find your balance restored sooner than you’d expect. I know you’ll do whatever it takes to get there. I have two shoulders and two ears (and lots of other parts *L*) if you ever need them. Love you, Beautiful! This is just a nasty bit of a rough patch. And even in a rough patch, I still think you’ve got a whole lot of great stuff going for you, you amazing woman! *love*

    • batty

      love you, too, my friend. thank you.

  • porcelain72

    Thank you for writing this. You’re an inspiration just because of your badassedness, and I know you’ll rip this situation a new one and come out on top.

    • batty

      thank you, my dear. from the bottom of my heart.

  • Chris Sanyk

    I have confidence that you’ll right yourself in time. It’s just a matter of figuring out what your body needs — sounds like lots of rest and de-stressing is in order. Have you tried meditation?

    • batty

      i have indeed tried meditation – at least, the ‘sit there and clear the head, etc’ kind of mediation, and that form does not really work for me. i was actually having a conversation with my sister about this a couple of months back. my form of meditation is a good walk in the woods. i plan on doing that a lot.

  • soniasimone

    I absolutely fall apart when my sleep goes to hell. Fingers crossed that the suckage lifts and you’re feeling good again soon.

  • Trase Passantino

    Congratulations on the new job! You have so much to contribute creatively, and I’m glad to see there is a company appreciating that.

    I am so sorry for the issues you’re dealing with, and I hope that the coming months bring solutions and improvements.

    I’m dealing with some of these same issues physically and mentally. I say this not to suggest that it diminishes your experience in any way, but rather, to show fellowship. Not that these are conditions anyone desires to be in or see others endure, but, well, hopefully, you know what I mean.

    • batty

      i get you totally, sister. knowing you’re not alone is rather comforting, even if its because of a sucky situation. knowing that there are people out there that understand and have experienced the same shit you have lets you know that you arent completely cray cray.

  • debbie

    I fucking love you batty. That is all you need to know. you better start daily texting me again or I will hunt you down and make you do it ;-) LOVE YOU FOR YOU NOTHING ELSE ADDED xoxoxoxoxo

    • batty

      man, YOU stopped texting ME and I THOUGHT YOU JUST STOPPED LOVING ME.

      i will text you today. thank god for your bad ass, woman. love you too.

  • Emma Price

    Sorry to hear this Batty, the shit we put ourselves through eh? I have been through something similar and I remain convinced to this day that low-carbing truly fucks up a girl’s hormonal system. 18 months since giving that shit up and I still am so tentatively on the cusp of being well, any minor stress and I’m plunged back into a no-energy-freezing-cold-brain-fog that I have to drag myself out of with lots of sugar and salt. Not surprisingly it does nothing for the body composition, but I’m finding it harder and harder to care about that now.
    Anyway, I hope you get through this soon. Look after yourself well and let those boys of yours take care of you too – oh and give Dennis a hug from me for being awesome. xxx

    • batty

      i am so mad, emma. so mad. i was doing fine unti i low carbed. i am not sure what sucks more right now – the brain fog, weight gain, bodily instability, or the pain of regret and yearning for what once was.
      your quote is still in my bathroom.
      i will keep the faith for you. much love.

      • Emma Price

        Right back atcha sister xxxx

  • Gwendolyn Cone

    This whole entry makes me want to hug you (except that we don’t know each other very well and I’m not sure if you would want to be hugged by me). You are absolutely still a badass. I’m looking forward to reading about the times not too long from now where you are able to enjoy your life more and get out and play. In the meantime, I will say it again – I deeply admire your honesty and courage.

  • slesca

    Batty! You rock and I’ve missed you. Keep on kickin’ ass. And consistency is the key, right? Consistently moderate, no months of 0 carbs or meat only or whatever. Just slow and steady, real food, with occasional Friday night beerz. I once read somewhere that time is going to pass whether you sit on the couch doing nothing or get off your ass and make changes, so you might as well experiment with different things.

  • Jessica Jane

    Hey, Batty! It’s primal_jessjane, long ago forum user at MDA. We’re also friends on FB. First off, I think it’s AWESOME that you are being so honest about your health. That takes a lot of courage to write on your blog. I also wanted to say that I also have been having some really similiar issues to you, due to stress upon stress upon stress with diet, exercise and lifestyle. I was in BEAST mode for years, felt strong, lean, healthy. Then I just put-putted out, put on fat right under my belly button despite eating 1300-1400 calories a day and weight lifting, exhausted all day, crazy brain fogs, crying tantrums, whacked out periods, needed a LOT of sleep (10+ hrs a night plus a 1-2hr nap in the day. I’m freaking 22!!!!) Got diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency, an extremely low free T3 & extremely high reverse T3 (free T3 downregulated to slow down metabolism in fear of famine, and reverse T3 got elevated to store resources in fear of famine), plus some okay but not optimal cortisol readings on my saliva test. So man do I hear you when you say this shit is FRUSTRATING! Fortunately, I found myself an AWESOME (amazing amazing amazing) holistic nurse practioner. She put me on some super low-dose armour for my thyroid, and gave me a whole slew of adrenal support reccomendations that I’m supposed to stick with for several MONTHS because she said this will take quite awhile. She also said absolutely NO forcing exercise and NO calorie restriction. I inquired about carb doses and she said as long as I am eating enough and not consciously restricting, I should be okay. She knows all about the paleo diet, Chris Kresser, Matt Stone, even Eat to Perform with Paul Nobles. Some days are better than others now. At least we know we are on the right path, right? ;-) And this won’t last forever; just a learning experience to keep in mind.

    Best of luck to you, Batty! Take care, in good health <3